“What was it about Samuel Beckett? In addition to writing fiction and plays that continue to absorb audiences and tease the imagination, the Nobel Laureate attracted collaborators in life and continues to extend his influence today. Writers from Harold Pinter to John Banville have acknowledged their debt to him, but it’s also a legacy that goes beyond words.”

The Irish Times

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ECR Travel Bursaries from the Samuel Beckett Society

The Samuel Beckett Society is pleased to offer 4 travel bursaries of the value of £300 each to Early Career Researchers wishing to attend the annual conference in Mexico City in November 2018.

‘Early Career Researcher’ describes any scholar of any nationality not yet holding a permanent salaried position. Your contribution must have already been accepted by the Conference Organisers.

Please send a 400-word description of your contribution to daniela.caselli@manchester.ac.uk by 5 September 2018. An anonymous committee of Beckett scholars will rank the proposals and the Society will get back to you via e-mail by 11 September 2018.

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Call for Tributes: John Calder, 1927-2018

The Samuel Beckett Society is sad to learn of the death of British publisher John Calder, a strong supporter of Beckett’s writing and a close personal friend. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

The Society welcomes tributes and recollections of Calder from friends, family, fans, and well-wishers, for publication in the official newsletter, The Beckett Circle. If you would like to share your own tribute, please get in touch using the form. Thank you.

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“Soft Border. Hard Beckett.”

“This latest Godot is part of the Happy Days: International Beckett Festival, now in its sixth edition, which shares August with the somewhat newer Lughnasa Frielfest, dedicated to another famous Irish playwright and located further up the Brexit frontline, at venues in Derry and Donegal. ” Frank McNally, The Irish Times

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On Morton Feldman and his work with Beckett how is Neither for you distinct from Words and Music in terms of tone and mood?

Liam Browne: Neither was written for a solo high soprano voice and the text is stretched across a one hour-long period making the text indistinct whereas every word in Words and Music is accounted for and is spoken rather than sung.  Different genres of course, one is prose/short story and the other a play.  Beckett didn’t approve of one genre being transferred into another which is why in our rendering of neither on bespoke billboards we are treating the billboards as the page.”

Read the full Q&A with Liam Browne over at marlbank

Rethinking difference and disability with Samuel Beckett

“In July 2012, at the performance workshop of the second Samuel Beckett Summer School, I sat in the Players Theatre and watched Rosemary Pountney (1937-2016) try to walk in Footfalls in precisely the way that Samuel Beckett had showed her. Though the costume she wore was the original dress and hardly the worse for wear, with time her body had moved on to a different style of movement, with a different level of control, and to take each required step in the way her body once knew, for the full duration of the piece, was no longer within her capacity.

Watching her move, and then watching as the lights moved across the stage where her footfalls would have once been, what I thought about acting and accessibility changed forever. Watching this performing body with the genuine, inimitable traces of age, I felt the ghostly resonances of the text in a completely new way. That day I traded my old answers for new questions: how could anyone say to Rosemary that she should no longer communicate her embodied knowledge, merely because it might have migrated from an earlier authorial ideal? And when was it ever ideal in the first place? What would a “perfect” performance even mean in the context of Beckett, that poet of failure? Instead of demanding sameness in our theatre, what can we learn from difference?” — Nicholas Johnson

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Public Event: Beckett and Disability, Trinity College Dublin

Public Panel and Conversation, Wednesday 1 August 2018, 11am-1pm
“Samuel Beckett wrote and reflected constantly about the nature and meaning of embodiment, and as a result he continues to be an important touchstone in the growing field of Disability Studies. Researchers from both English and Creative Arts backgrounds have a growing interest in exploring how diverse physical, sensorial, developmental and psychological abilities manifest themselves in literature and in performance, and Beckett’s work provides many examples in terms of both practice and theory.

The Samuel Beckett Summer School, celebrating its eighth year of working at the cutting edge of new discourses in Beckett Studies, will offer a panel discussion and “long table” event on the topic of Beckett and Disability as its traditional Wednesday morning “plenary” discussion. Chaired by a researcher focusing in this area, Siobhán Purcell (NUI Galway), the panel will discuss a wide range of issues, including the representation of disability/ability in Beckett’s literature, as well as the theatre contexts in which Beckett’s work has been engaged by neurodiverse performers. The recent work of Touretteshero, especially their production of Not I in London, will be discussed by Jonathan Heron (University of Warwick). Other panelists, including Julie Bates (TCD, English) and Declan Reilly (TCD, Disability Service) will speak to the implications of accessibility and neurodiversity in education, policy, and philosophical landscapes.

The panel will run from 11 AM to approximately noon, and after a short break, the audience will be invited to contribute with a structured but open discussion until 1 PM. The event will be open to the public, accessible, and free of charge (but ticketed).”

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